Upheaval in Ford

22 Apr

A small upheaval in the world of Ford Prison for me:

Caused by me.

For the better.

After another sleepless night at the hands of Delroy’s snoring and upon hearing that he had today turned down a single cell on the  ‘retirement wing’ on the grounds of:

“I’m not dead yet Dave; these people want to throw me away as if I am worthless…blah…blah…blah”

…I made up my mind to take up Spence’s offer of a cell switch. As crazy as it sounds, I felt guilty moving, initially.

Spencer – a young traveller lad inside for affray, had been concerned over who his new cellmate might be. While I realised that I had no right to moan about my circumstances if I was not prepared to change them.

As it happens Delroy’s new pad pal was to be a 70 year old. It seems he turned down a single cell in a block for older inmates as he felt it was degrading and ‘Age-ist’, only to end up sharing a cell – a far worse situation with someone who fits squarely in the retired bracket.

Ah the sweet taste of Irony.

He will of course with his limited mental capacity, have ZERO idea that this situation is entirely of his own doing. No, it will be another injustice to him no doubt.

I am now in G2-05.

It’s light;


cleaner and;

stocked with the previous occupants abandoned canteen purchases. My cellmate is a twenty something, who accepts that watching the news once an evening is more than sufficient. Neither of us are going anywhere just yet, no amount of missed breaking news will leave us in the dark!

A comfort parcel flies in from Ma and Pa, it contains razors and toastie pouches, while my own canteen order came today too: further topping up my coffee jar and tuna stack. Having items sent in, that I would otherwise have to expensively procure from the prison order sheet, is  a cost-effective move.

One distinct perk of my new cell, is Spence’s dislike of coffee and the large Tupperware container of Kenco now in my possession. Compared to my £1 Maxwell House, this new premium addition to my stores reach me, as if it were a lottery win.

Once upon a time in the City, I might say:

“I’m LONG coffee”

Still without a duvet, I try my hand at a little trick the previous room incumbent tried. He had his mother sew a ‘British Standard’ BS Fire Safety label onto his perfectly flammable rug, which she then duly sent in. As it crosses the prison reception desk, they can do little more than approve it.

I am now in the possession of this label.

My precious.

I send it home with this day’s edition of my diary. Time for mum to get down the haberdashery.

I’m hoping a meeting of minds or material involving a quilt can now happen.

We shall see. In the meantime I have stuffed my duvet cover with a collection of blankets to make a mock-up bed spread. Along with the coffee seizure, I clean Paddy’s old crockery and cutlery. M&S Plates and a Jamie Oliver cutlery set, I sit satisfied with my new things, my treasure haul.

In prison, when an inmate leaves, the hope is the acquisition of new goods. It really makes the headaches of the dealing with property reception at the front gate a little laughable. There is a roaring black market once inside, of goods and services of every kind. On my own arrival here, I overhear a newbie asking an induction orderly the going rate for a bottle of vodka. £40 I hear provides this avenue of escapism.

I am offered Spice and Mumba today for the first time. Both are forms of recreational smoke but not perhaps what you might expect. They are legal highs, but still contraband in prison. I’m using this time to enjoy a clean year of living; I politely decline the offer. Besides, the trauma of getting a duvet on the sly has been hard enough, I don’t think my blood pressure could handle anything racier.

Shattered arms for cutting wood all day, (Not a euphemism) I put down my pen and watch some telly.


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